Screening For Peripheral Neuropathy In Diabetic Patients: The benefits of the United Kingdom Screening Test – UKST- (a clinical scoring system).
Background: Peripheral nerve damage is a common complication of diabetes mellitus and often presents with a gamut of unpleasant sensations difficult to assess accurately clinically. Objective: To describe the United Kingdom Screening Test (UKST), a simple, accurate and reproducible clinical method for assessing the symptoms and signs of peripheral neuropathy (PN) in diabetes mellitus. The aim is to stimulate interest in the use of this tool for clinical research to detect subjective and objective PN in diabetic subjects, especially in resource poor developing countries limited by non-availability of more sophisticated quantitative diagnostic facilities. Methodology: The UKST is a two part diagnostic test consisting of scores for symptoms and signs and was used by Young et al to determine the prevalence of PN in the United Kingdom. The details of the scores for symptoms and signs are shown in Tables 1 and 2 and the diagnostic criteria for PN/benefits of this clinical scoring method are highlighted. Conclusion: PN is the commonest risk factor for foot ulceration, gangrene and loss of limb in diabetes and the importance of detecting it as early as possible in diabetic subjects cannot be overemphasized. Simple, reproducible clinical tools like the UKST facilitate this, especially in resource poor nations limited by non-availability of sophisticated diagnostic instruments.
Keywords: Peripheral neuropathy, Diabetes mellitus, United Kingdom Screening Test.
Tropical Journal of Medical Research Vol. 12 (1) 2008: pp. 45-49